Song Lyric Sunday – Listen

Two posters and a 20 album cover montage (just saying).

I was early to bed last night so I did not see Helen’s Song Lyric Sunday theme until this morning: Listen.

The Beatles classic was in my brain, ears, eyes, and on my tongue as my lips whispered the words, “let me whisper in your ear.”

This bit of boomer nostalgia is less than two minutes.

Lyrics: Do You Want to Know A Secret
You’ll never know how much I really love you
You’ll never know how much I really care
Listen do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell woh woh woh closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I’m in love with you oo
I’ve known the secret for a week or two
Nobody knows just we two
Listen do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell woh woh woh closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I’m in love with you ooooo

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
Do You Want to Know a Secret lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Look both ways, but the music of your youth never goes away.
Mind the classical gaps.
Click graphic for link to SLS page.

 

Essay: Grace Before Rant (and why I care)

So many things about other people are none of my business. It is not the same with everyone because my relationship with each person is different. It begins with me, then my immediate family (in my case), then my friends, professional relationships, then people who want something from me like money or my vote. It may include strangers with whom I share driving on roads, rooms (the sign said ‘employees must wash hands’), grocery stores, air, or transportation systems.

Ambivalence, freedom, and self-preservation

If the man sitting across from me on the bus wants to pray, I don’t care. If he puts down a prayer rug that blocks my exit, I do care. If he jumps up and yells something that sounds like god is great in Arabic, I care a lot about his intention. As the behavior of others moves closer to interfering in my life, the more what is not my business is made to be. Not by me. I begin to care.

Pray, pay, and obey

When I lived at home with my parents, I was the youngest child in an Irish Catholic family. For nine years (1950s), I attended a Catholic elementary school (K-8), as did my older siblings. I was taught all traditional things catholic kids were supposed to learn. I memorized the Catechism. I learned about the religion as it was taught to us, about the saints, and some bible history for eight of those nine years. We had to pray. We had to go to confession and to Mass. We had no choice, but I also recall none of us resisting. We saw it as normal.

Millions of children around the world grew up in similar circumstances (and some have spent a lifetime recovering). It was brain washing, of sorts. We prefer to call it religious education and indoctrination, to be more politically correct.

We prayed to start each school day. We memorized new prayers as part of the curriculum, some in Latin if you were gunna be an altar boy. There were no altar girls then (now both sexes are altar servers), but the Latin has been scrapped in most cases. Before and after recess, we prayed. Before lunch, we prayed Grace Before Meals. When we returned after lunch, we stood next to our desks and prayed the Grace After Meals. Before we left for the day, we prayed. We were expected to pray at home.

When old enough, every Friday, or the day before a Holy Day of Obligation, we went to confession as part of the school day. More prayers; and the assigned penance was to say more prayers (five Hail Mary’s, five Our Father’s, and an Act Of Contrition). Think about that for a minute: prayer as punishment? We did that in anticipation of receiving Holy Communion (the body and blood of Christ) at Mass. You’d have thought we were Trappist monks in training (they pray seven times a day).

Reciprocal respect (do your thing)

I am not going to repeat what I’ve said about prayer (mine or other’s) in past posts. But I want to express a concern (PC for pointed rant). I only know what a few other non-believers do in these circumstances, but I want to briefly whine over how I feel about it.

Maybe I’m being picky or over-simplistic about this, but I strongly believe that no gods exist or ever have. Consequently, communication with something non-existent is pointless, if not weird. I do not include mediation, talking with others (including animals), or talking to self in the same way because in each of those situations, the self or other being exists and meditative relaxation is probably healthy. I have talked to my pets my entire life and in many cases I am sure there was some degree and form of understanding me and what my intention was, even if the language was not understood. They never talked back (at least not in a language like English).

My wife (not atheist) and I occasionally have meals with religious friends (Evangelical Protestant, Lutheran of some kind, Catholic of Roman blend, whatever). In most cases, it goes like this. We meet up, we talk, we sit, read menus, we talk more, order drinks, talk more, order food, they talk even more, and then the food comes. That’s usually when the religious people decide to pray.

Now, if we can pray at religious school before we go home or down stairs for lunch; couldn’t they get the prayer part done a lot sooner? Furthermore, praying, especially while holding hands with convinced atheist, is not a social experience. It is a religious one.

Sometimes, they do pray early. If you go to their home for an outdoor barbeque or buffet style meal, they pray in one of those large group things. Usually, the protestants, and often Catholics, still want to hold hands, bow heads, close eyes, and mumble incoherently. Anyway, I will usually hold hands and watch as someone mumbles a long thanksgiving kind of prayer, often as the food cools. Early prayer is possible.

Truth is, these are my wife’s friends much more than mine (she and they may disagree). If I do not feign cooperation, it could affect her relationship with her friends. I don’t want to do that.

In most of these situations I feel awkward (and maybe a bit hypocritical) because of my beliefs. If they did not pray, or would pray on their own, it would be fine. The problems come with the showing off. That’s when I feel like I am socially being made (as in forced) part of the prayer, prayer group, or blessing process. Maybe I should say something like,

“You go on ahead and pray. I don’t do that. I’ll wait, but if you take too long, I’ll start without you. I’m here to interact with you socially and to eat. Not to pray.”

But I won’t do that.

Is my conclusion equally valid?

While I’m willing to speak openly about my atheism with almost anyone (there are limits), I don’t want to cause problems. I’m often demonstrative when arguing or debating religion (or anything). That’s not good.

Moreover, I don’t want to be the cause of my wife’s friends shunning her or pretending out of sympathy. I don’t care what they think about me. (I’m atheist, I know what many think). But there is irony in that. I do care how the world treats my family, especially when I may be the reason for it. (Your father, grandfather, husband, friend, what-evah).

What do you think?

If you have an opinion or experience with this, I would like to hear it. If you pray, how do you feel about a non-believer excusing themselves or feigning participation? If you are not a believer, how do you handle such situations? Please comment, even if it is that you don’t care either way.

If you watch this show, you know that they seldom hold hands: Catholic.

Bill Reynolds, 5/11/2018

Look both ways when crossing to the other side.
Mind the gap of our differences.

Song Lyric Sunday – Take

Helen’s post for the SLS theme for today is take. I immediately (excitedly) thought of Take It Easy, by the Eagles. It was written by Jackson Browne and Glen Frey about 1971. Take It Easy was the Eagles’ first single (1972) and the title of their debut album. It is one of my favorites, primarily for the lyrics.

Besides the title, the hook lyrics for the theme are in the refrain:

Take it easy
Take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Make you crazy

Other lyrics I (and others) especially like about the song are:

 

I’m going with a wild-ass video with Travis Tritt from the fantastic Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles album.

Lyrics to Take it Easy

Well, I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on my mind
Four that wanna own me
Two that wanna stone me
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take it easy
Take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Drive you crazy

Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy

Well, I’m a standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
And such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my lord
In a flatbed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me

Come on, baby
Don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love
Is gonna save me

We may lose and we may win
Though we will never be here again
So open up, I’m climbin’ in
And take it easy

Well I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
Got a world of trouble on my mind
Lookin’ for a lover
Who won’t blow my cover
She’s so hard to find

Take it easy
Take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
Make you crazy

Come on baby
Don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love
Is gonna save me

Oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy

***

Thanks to Helen for a great theme prompt and thanks to the Eagles for years of great music.

Look both ways, mind the gaps, take it easy, and
don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

Click graphic for link to SLS page.

 

 

Poetry About Death

Poets write about many things. One is death.
Another is love. One could easily fill many book shelves with the love poems written just this year.

After working out this little ditty which touches on the part of death I call ‘the leaving and being left,’ I discovered another jewel by John Updike. It looks at death from the point of view of the artist (his).

I’ve added the brief reading video of the Updike poem below. If you enjoy poetry, art, are an artist, or may face death someday, it is worth a couple minutes of your time, in my opinion.

 

Let me Die

Please don’t sigh, when I cry, just kiss me now
and let me die.
Let me go
now to be.
Look at me and you will see,
when again together,
in death we’ll be.
Sigh and walk away –
to live what life’s left for you,
Not to fret and do not let
us to mourn this life or even death.

We had our time in love sublime
as you kiss me now upon my brow.

Bill Reynolds 11/01/2018

Perfection Wasted by John Updike

Wow!
Look both ways; to life and to death.
Respectfully mind the gap; it’s where the dying lie.

Song Lyric Sunday – Hide

Helen’s Song lyric prompt for today is hide, or hiding, or hidden. A great prompt for me cuz four songs came to mind. I selected one but changed my mind to Lyin’ Eyes by the Eagles, written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley. The hook line for the prompt is (of course) ‘you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes‘ but this song also has one of my all-time favorite philosophical song lines, ‘I guess every form of refuge has its price‘ – and it does, right?

I put the lyrics below the video so you can read as you listen.

YouTube terminated the video, but you can still find it and watch, if you like.

Lyin’ Eyes

City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won’t have to worry
She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style
 

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is only
Given to a man with hands as cold as ice
 

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town
 

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
 

On the other side of town a boy is waiting
With fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
‘Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel
 

She rushes to his arms, they fall together
She whispers that it’s only for awhile
She swears that soon she’ll be comin’ back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile
 

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t now way to hide your lyin’ eyes
 

She gets up and pours herself a strong one
And stares out at the stars up in the sky
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry
 

She wonders how it ever got this crazy
She thinks about a boy she knew in school
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool
 

My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things
You set it up so well, so carefully
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things?
You’re still the same old girl you used to be
 

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
Honey, you can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
 

Songwriters: Glenn Frey / Don Henley

Lyin’ Eyes lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 Look both ways with yer lyin’ eyes. Mind the gaps cuz refuge has a price.

Click graphic for link to SLS page.

Poetry — Octo-eventide

I hear the soft sounds of eventide’s song,
as it sings the transition of day into night –
of colorful gloamings where wonders belong,
while whispering air adds drama to sight.

Night birds respond by taking to flight
before today wrings darkness from light
The darts and the dives of the soaring black kite,
mixing their trills, flying into the night.

The sky-blue sunset is dotted with cloud,
as the stars drag the moon into the shroud,
where red and orange, and some yellow are glowing.

Adieu to the light as darkness keeps growing.

As the swift and the nightjar sing
songs that awaken
the owl tonight, a night yet to come.

From this part of life is another day taken,
and as humans will be,
by this darkness we’re shaken.

I feel the call of a long restful sleep
as evening pleasures promise to keep.
Remember this day as something we’ll miss.
Lie with me Love and share this sweet bliss.

©Bill Reynolds 10/12/2018

Look both ways into the night and the day,
mind all these gaps in a special way.

Song Lyric Sunday – Found

Helen’s song lyric prompt for today is find or found.

Hanging out with teenage friends at Lombardelli’s Pizza place back in the day, I recall Richie Cramer tormenting his girl friend at the time by singing this song. But Richie changed some of the lyrics to her name, Rita Hill. I found my thrill on Rita Hill.

The original Fats Domino song, indeed a sad lost-love song to an unnamed person, addressed a place: Blueberry Hill, where Fats found his thrill.

A founding original artist of R&R or R&B, and a 1950s icon, Fats died a year ago this month at 89 rockin’ years young.

Blueberry Hill

Fats Domino

I found my thrill
On Blueberry Hill
On Blueberry Hill
When I found you

The moon stood still
On Blueberry Hill
And lingered until
My dream came true

The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

The wind in the willow played
Love’s sweet melody
But all of those vows you made
Were never to be

Though we’re apart
You’re part of me still
For you were my thrill
On Blueberry Hill

(Songwriters: A. Lewis / Larry Stock / V. Rose)

The video, a 2007 rendition of the song by Elton John, adds timelessness to this memorable oldy tune.

 

Look both ways and mind the gap on Sad Song Hill.

If ya wanna play SLS, here’s the link:
https://helenswordsoflife.com/2018/10/06/song-lyric-sunday-theme-for-10-7-18/